Be choosy about alcohol
We all know to watch the amount of calories we have in the foods we choose. But many of us probably don’t take the same approach when it comes to alcohol. While it’s not realistic to never have a cocktail or a bottle of your favourite beer, the types of alcohol you choose to drink could make or break your weight loss plans and healthy living routine.
“Unlike the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbs, alcohol is comprised solely of empty calories with no nutritional value. As a result, it is the first fuel to be used, putting the fat-burning process on the back burner," Allison Hagendorf, a certified health and lifestyle coach, told PopSugar.
Being so high in calories can easily lead to weight gain, but if you do like to have a little tipple during the week to unwind after work or to socialise with friends, here are the best and worst options.
Dry wine rather than sweet: This is because the sweeter variety often has 100 - 150 more calories per glass than its drier alternative. However if you can’t stomach the dry kind, try reducing the calories by making a spritzer. Just add soda water, which is calorie free, and goes well with lower calorie liquors like vodka and gin. If you need a little more flavour add slices of zesty fruits such as lemon and limes. It’s best to avoid adding soft, sports or energy drinks into the mix as they are laden with calories.
Light beer: Probably self explanatory but light beers have fewer calories than their full strength counterparts but have the same amount of alcohol content. If that wasn’t enough, beer also contains polyphenols, which have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Win win right?
In a word it’s cocktails. But particularly the following:
Pina Colada: A six oz glass of this creamy drink can have over 300 calories thanks to its rum, crème to coconut and sugar combination.
White Russian: This classic goes heavy on the cream, making it over 450 calories a glass. Instead try chilled brewed coffee with skimmed milk, vodka, and ice.
Margaritas and Daiquiris: They may not have cream in them, but both drinks can have a whopping 500-700 calories per glass thanks to the sugary syrups often used in them.
Sangria: A favourite while on holiday, but this combo of sugary syrups, table sugar, and fruit juice means a lot of calories and sugar. Make your own with a combination of fresh fruit, wine, and calorie-free mixer.